Advance Base is new music by Owen Ashworth, formerly of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. Walking the line between electric pop & more traditional singer/songwriter forms, Owen Ashworth builds minimalist, heavy-hearted, & nostalgia-obsessed tunes around his conversational, baritone vocals, using electric pianos, Omnichords, orchestral samples, & drum machines. The sound of Advance Base has been described as “depressed, ” “lo-fi, ” & “pop.” Advance Base is named after the Antarctic meteorological station & psychedelic death trap that nearly killed Admiral Richard E. Byrd during the winter of 1934.
1: Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman & Dustin Hoffman used to be roommates.
2: I typed this whole interview on my stupid phone while waiting for my flight to Lisbon.
3: I could really go for a root beer right about now.
What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
“One Man Band (Plays All Alone)” by The Chi-Lites
How and when did you get into making music?
There was a piano in the house where I grew up & my parents listened to lots of pop & classic music on the home stereo. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t aware of & interested in music.
What are your 5 favourite albums of all time?
I don’t have 5 favorite albums of all time. I’m not that organized. There are lots of albums that I’m fond of, & here are 5 of those, in no particular order:
Irma Thomas – Sings
Arthur Russell – World of Echo
Tsegue-Maryam Guebrou – Ethiopia Song/Solo Piano
Harvey MilkH Courtesy & Good Will Toward Men
Ruth White – Flowers of Evil
What do you associate with Berlin?
What’s your favourite place in your town?
If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Stand -up comedy is the closest thing I can think of. I already spend plenty of time just talking during my concerts. It would be easy to just not play any songs in between the jokes. I probably just wouldn’t get as many laughs as I do now.
What was the last record you bought?
Timmy Thomas: Why Can’t We Live Together
Who would you most like to collaborate with?
I’d like to write & produce an entire album for my friend Jenny Herbinson to sing.
What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
I saw Corrupted play in Berkeley, California a few years ago, and I still think about it a lot. They played for a really long time, & in the middle of it, I felt like i’d left my body. It made me want to write longer songs.
How important is technology to your creative process?
They are practically the same thing. It’s hard for me to imagine one without the other.
Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
I have one brother. His name is Gordon Ashworth, & he is also a musician. We have done some tours together. We’re very supportive of each other & I’m certainly very proud of him, & I can only assume that he is also very proud of me.